# Mental Calculation

**This Mental & Oral starter is based on an idea from John Taylor’s book JumpStart! Numeracy.**

The focus is on using shortcuts to quickly add and subtract 9 and 8 mentally. For our version you will need a set of coloured cards. Scraps of paper or even post it notes will do. We used blue and yellow paper squares. You need enough so that half of the class (or group) can have one colour and the other half the remaining colour. **Read more »**

**Here's a little gem that turns those very versatile empty number lines on their heads - figuratively speaking!**

The main virtue of an empty number line is that 'emptyness' - they can be adapted to any purpose. Here, we keep them empty and challenge children to use their '**problem solving skills**' and to use and apply their knowledge of **number calculations** to determine which numbers are missing. **Read more »**

**This time we offer a Mental and Oral activity which focusses on using a specific strategy to give addition a speed boost.**

This teaching activity enables children to gain confidence in reordering the numbers of an addition problem to make that problem easier. The focus is on looking for pairs which create a specific total.

You show an addition problem like this one: **Read more »**

**This Mental and Oral activity is based on using number fans or digit cards to aid understanding of number properties or offer opportunities to practice calculations.** **Read more »**

**This Mental and Oral activity revolves around number bonds (or complements) to 100**.

Children work in pairs, using a mini-whiteboard. Ask them to draw a three by three grid and to quickly fill the grid with different multiples of 5. When they have completed this the teacher starts to call out random multiples of 5, children can circle a number on their grid if it is the other half of the pair totalling exactly 100 (the complement to 100). **Read more »**

**This Mental and Oral activity focuses on developing children's use and understanding of number properties.**

Children work in pairs, using a mini-whiteboard or a scribble pad in order to determine the identity of two 'secret' numbers. The information you give them about these numbers is related to addition and multiplication, for example: **Read more »**

**This first Mental & Oral activity is focused on collaborative calculation**. The children are shown four numbers with the instruction that they work in pairs on mini-whiteboards to devise calculations that will make all four numbers equal.

The activity is easily prepared and can be differentitated. Younger children could be asked to use addition (and/or subtraction). For example, with the following four numbers displayed... **Read more »**